Cross country off to fast start

Had San Antonio been Athens, and had the Trinity University Invitational been the Olympics, the UTD men’s and women’s cross country teams each would have just missed bringing home the bronze.

As it stands, the women finished fourth and the men fifth in the opening meet of the 2004 season.

“I think they did extremely well. They competed against a very strong field and turned in very strong performances. It was a great starting point as far as the season goes,” men’s Head Coach Brandon Rains said.

Women’s Head Coach Kim Sotomayor echoed Rains’ feelings.

“I was very, very pleased with everybody’s efforts,” she said.

In the men’s eight-kilometer race, freshman Jonathan Greene led the Comet charge with a time of 31:01.30, good for 32nd place overall. Teammate Jeremiah Masterson finished just behind Greene, but the junior had his time voided due to a pre-race registration error.

“(Masterson’s time) didn’t get recorded for some reason, so we dropped into 5th from 4th, where we should have placed,” Rains said.

For the women, first-year runner Leslie Dixon paced UTD, finishing 20th in the 4.8-kilometer race.

One spot back in 21st place was junior Chara Price. Price was followed closely by Melissa Malter.

“They’re all competitive and come race day they push each other,” Sotomayor said of her top runners.

Rounding out the top five qualifying runners for the men were junior Steven Richard, sophomore Thomas Holand, freshman Bill Anderson and junior Kevin Chen.

The men’s team is still trying to recover from the loss of NCAA Regional qualifier Paul Burt who broke his neck in a car accident, Rains said.

For the women, senior Angelia Wightman and junior Angela Tracy placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Rains said he was impressed with how the women’s team ran.

“I think the girls will be able to contend for the top two spots in the conference,” he said.

Both coaches said the first meet was a good foundation for what they hope will be a successful season.

“It was a good meet early on to get the jitters out,” Rains said. “We stated from the get-go that our goal is to finish in the top three in the conference. This meet lets these guys know what the competition will be like.”

<strong>For more sports info and schedule,</strong> visit the UTD Intercollegiate Sports website at <a href=””></a>.

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